Creating Lately: A Bracelet, Body Butter and Lip Scrub

After a difficult week two weeks ago and lots of frustration at not finding meaning in my activities lately, last week I finally found my creative mojo again. I’ve been pretty busy crafting and DIY’ing over the week.

First, I want to show you all this bracelet I created last Friday. It is simple and I didn’t even do all the work by myself. I mean, I struggled a lot putting the purple beads onto the wire, because my left hand kept spasming and I needed my right hand to keep the wire straight. I tried reversing my hands and letting my staff hold the wire, but it wouldn’t work. Still, I managed to thread some of the purple beads and all of the roses anyway.

I also have been doing a lot of body care creating lately. Last Monday, I made a basic body butter. I used coconut oil, sweet almond oil and cocoa butter. I added in a few drops of coconut fragrance oil for the scent.

I am considering getting a talking kitchen scale, so that I can weigh out my ingredients myself. Not that we used a scale this time – we just guessed how much we’d need.

Lastly, on Thursday, I made a lip scrub. I used coconut oil and cocoa butter for the base and added plain white sugar, honey and vanilla extract. This time, I did most of the measuring myself, even though I still mostly had to guess how much we’d need.

I had made a lip scrub once before, but that one didn’t turn out as thick as we’d wanted. This one is still thinner than most lip balms I’m used to making, but then again it’s a lip scrub, not a lip balm.

I am really loving looking at bath and body product recipes. I am not as good with them yet as I’d like to be, but I like to think I’m improving.

With respect to jewelry, I don’t look up tutorials, as they’re usually far too difficult for me to follow. I just create what I think I can.

What have you been crafting lately?

Carrier Oils in Aromatherapy #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to the letter C post in my #AtoZChallenge on aromatherapy. Today, I will be discussing carrier oils.

Carrier oils, also sometimes called base oils, are the oils used to dilute essential oils into when using essential oils in skincare products. After all, undiluted essential oils are irritating to the skin. Please note the following differences between essential oils and carrier oils:


  1. Essential oils are derived from the aromatic components of the plant, such as leaves, bark and root. Carrier oils come from the fatty portions of the plant, such as the seeds.

  2. Essential oils retain the characteristic odor of the plant. Carrier oils do not, at least not very strongly.

  3. Essential oils evaporate easily (hence producing their characteristic scent). Carrier oils do not evaporate as easily.

  4. Carrier oils can go rancid over time. Essential oils do not, but they will oxidize and lose their therapeutic benefits.

Carrier oils are natural vegetable oils derived from the fatty portions of plants, usually the seeds, kernels or nuts. The name “carrier oil” comes from their function in carrying the essential oils onto the skin. Aloe vera gel can also be used as a carrier, but it isn’t an oil. I will be focusing on oils here. Below are some examples of carrier oils.

1. Sweet almond oil. One of the most commonly-used carrier oils, because it is widely available in organic form. It is relatively affordable, all-purpose and has a shelf life of 1-2 years.

2. Grape seed oil. A relatively all-purpose oil in skincare or massage. However, it is not often available in pure, organic form. It also has a rather short shelf life of only 6-12 months.

3. Coconut oil. This comes either in a virgin form or as a fractionated oil, which means it has been distilled to contain only the medium chain triglycerides. Fractionated coconut oil is odorless and highly stable. Virgin coconut oil still contains the aroma of coconuts and can, as a result, be used to create this scent.

4. Apricot kernel oil. This is an oil that is in many ways similar to sweet almond oil. However, it is lighter in texture and viscosity and is absorbed into the skin relatively quickly.

I have so far only used sweet almond and apricot kernel oils.

In addition to carrier oils, butters can also be used in skincare products, such as body butter or lip balm. Butters include mango butter, cocoa butter and sometimes coconut oil can be thick enough to be used as a butter. I love to combine cocoa butter, coconut oil and sweet almond oil into a body butter.

Soap: The Fun of Bath and Body Product Making #AtoZChallenge

The First Soap I Made

Welcome to day 19 in the #AtoZChallenge. I’m so excited to share today’s topic, as for today, I will be talking about a special interest of mine.

In the summer of 2016, I discovered soap making. An online friend of mine, who is also blind, had been doing it for years, but I hadn’t given it much thought. Then I decided to buy a starter kit. It contained melt and pour soap base, colorants, fragrance oils, a mold and other supplies you would need. I went about making my first soaps and they turned out okay. I need to say here that I’d tried a ton of other crafting hobbies before, including card making, polymer clay and jewelry making. Though my jewelry turned out okay’ish too, all my other craft projects turned out rubbish. I didn’t notice it at first, so I had some reservations re my soap making too.

The good thing about soap making, is that the result, even if it isn’t visually appealing, can be used. I have several soaps that were too bad for gifting, but I use them in my bathroom.

I cannot make soap completely independently (yet). I have tried, but then my kitchen became a huge mess. However, my soaps usually turn out pretty good if I get some help.

Besides soap, I’ve made body butters and lip balms. I like making those too, but they’re more work. I’ve also tried my hand at body lotions, but they never turned out good. I still would love to make those someday, as their visual appearance isn’t as important as with soaps.

The friend I mentioned above doesn’t use colorants in her soaps. I am still figuring out how to work this thing out, as white soaps don’t appeal as much to sighted people, but with colorants, you have to be careful to match the color and fragrance. I’ve made a few big mistakes in this respect, including a purple soap with coffee fragrance.